Wednesday, August 3, 2011

From the Vault: Bizarre - 1998 Demo (Unreleased)

  Today's offering will be an extremely rare release by Rufus Johnson a.k.a Bizarre from D12. This one doesn't have a title, for it was unreleased and merely a leak, I have a hard copy of the cassette lying around in one of my boxes of old stuff. Found it at a music shop lying in a crate on sale for 50 cents. What a shame the person didn't know what he had on his hands. No, I don't plan on selling it for any amount whatsoever. But I will upload all 9 songs for you all to enjoy. This is a very rare release ripped straight from the demo tape itself. This is rap at it's rawest, and best. Contains rare material from Eminem, D12 & The Outsidaz. No artwork for this one (like I said, there's only probably 10 copies of this in existence, there's no label or anything either, just a tape with BIZARRE DEMO scrawled in Sharpie on tape on the cassette), so I had to pick some custom artwork that had the word "Bizarre" on it. I will be posting a review soon. I guess this is my way of making it up to you for missing a day.

   Download: Bizarre - 1998 Demo (Unreleased)

Monday, August 1, 2011

Free Mixtape for Download - Earl Sweatshirt - Kitchen Cutlery (Unreleased Songs)

  Today's offering will be a collection of 6 unreleased songs that were meant to be on Earl Sweatshirt's mixtape "Kitchen Cutlery" before he scrapped the project and joined Odd Future and recorded the album "Earl". This collection includes incomplete songs/freestyles (Dat Ass, Brand New, Molliwopped), "FYC", a collaboration with rapper Gruzen, and "Number 4", an instrumental produced by Earl (or Sly, as he used to be called back then). I hope you all enjoy this as much as I do.

   Download: Earl Sweatshirt - Kitchen Cutlery (Unreleased Songs)

Sunday, July 31, 2011

From the Vault: Bad Meets Evil (Original Demo Version) for Download

  Today's offering will be the full, complete original demo edition of Bad Meets Evil, the first Eminem & Royce Da' 5'9" collaboration that appeared as the 19th track on Eminem's mainstream debut, "The Slim Shady LP". Noticeably different are the instrumental and Eminem's first verse. Sorry for the low quality, this was never released. Also to those that say that you can find this on YouTube, this is the *complete* version, those leaks were incomplete. Enjoy this:

    Download: Bad Meets Evil - Bad Meets Evil (Original Demo Version)

D12 - Devil's Night (Review)

Being a die-hard D12 fan, I decided to review D12's first album that brought them to fame. Devil's Night, which is a CLASSIC in my book had a ton of great tracks and is overlooked in my opinion and I'll go as far to say that it's not only my favorite D12 album, it's my favorite EMINEM album. The verses he drops on here are classic to me and this period of time (1999-2003) was his time to me. He will never be as good as he was on here.

For anyone that doesn't know, D12's roster when the album was made was (in order of who has the most talent) Eminem, Proof, Bizarre, Swifty McVay, Kon Artis & Kuniva. AS OF RIGHT NOW though, it's Bizarre, Swifty McVay, Kon Artis & Kuniva. Proof unfortunately isn't on the list anymore because he was shot at a night club in Detroit (R.I.P.) The reason Eminem isn't on here too is that even though he is still in the group, he doesn't really work with them as much (D12's latest mixtape "Return of The Dozen Vol.1" didn't have any input from him and he isn't going on tour with D12 according to what I've heard. But now he's working with the group on their next studio album (rumor is, that it's supposed to be called Natural Born Killers).

Whether it's American Psycho or Devil's Night, EVERY song with a few exceptions ("coughs" Nasty Mind "coughs") is great in it's own way. So no matter how hard I try to be on this album, it's still freaking awesome. And if you're lucky enough, you can get the import limited edition, which contains a bonus disk with 3 tracks that could have easily replaced some of the tracks on here. I'll be reviewing the tracks on their as well.

Devil's Night was the album that brought D12 out into the mainstream, since they were underground for a long time (if you can pick up a copy of The Underground EP. It contains material from when Bugz was still alive). The album debuted onto the charts at No.1 making it the album of the summer. The singles released were Purple Pills (The edited version is Purple Hills) and Fight Music (oddly titled for the radio "Flight Music"). While the people that dug "The Real Slim Shady" obviously enjoyed Purple Hills, most of the Real Fans of D12 enjoyed Fight Music a lot more. But unfortunately, Fight Music didn't do as successful on the charts as Purple Hills since 95.9% of the world sells out to what I call "bubble gum rap".

But just because the album debuted at No.1 when it came out doesn't mean that it was all fun and games. Sure, if you have a messed up sense of humor like me, you would find something to laugh at in each track. This is probably one of the most darkest and messed up albums I've ever heard. And I mean that in the best way possible. But on a serious note, this album makes The Marshall Mathers LP look like a Hannah Montana album. Heck, as I recall, this album was so vulgar, they couldn't make a CLEAN version of the album. So this is probably one of rap's biggest achievements, given that a lot of the sales of a rap album come from the edited version given that rap these days is aimed at 10-15 year olds these days. It's like Purple Pills was like D12's mouse trap for people to buy the album. But let's stop talking negatives and start talking positives.

The Review Begins...

1. Another Public Service Announcement (Skit) - Kuniva introduces us to his alter ego which is known as Rondell Beene in a very funny skit/start to the album. It also does a great job of leading into the first song. But this does get old after a little bit.

2. Shit Can Happen (Kon Artis, Kuniva, Swifty & Eminem) - This was a EXCELLENT start to the album and set the bar pretty much for the album. Kon Artis starts us off with no mercy whatsoever and Kuniva drops a funny verse for me. While Swift's verse is great, it's probably the weakest on the song. Eminem RIPS IT UP on here with his verse and handles outro duties here as well. And for the Detroit Hip Hop die hards reading this...this is basically an expanded version of the Da Brigade mix of this from DJ Butter's mixtape "S#!t Happens"

3. Pistol Pistol (All Members) - This a great track and also has the stability to actually follow Shit Can Happen. Unfortunately on here, Eminem only handles the hook on here which is still pretty good. We also get introduced to the two members that weren't on the first song, Proof a.k.a Derty Harry & Bizarre a.k.a. Peter S. Bizarre. Proof drops a hot verse on here (no pun intended) and Bizarre does one that still makes me laugh no matter how many times I hear it. One of the highlights of the album for me. The beat on here sounds like something you'd hear at an Earthbound shop.

4. Bizarre (Skit) - You have to listen to this for yourself, I couldn't contain myself after hearing the end of this. It does a great job of leading itself into the next track which is you guessed it...

5. Nasty Mind (Everyone but Proof & Eminem) (Feat. Truth Hurts) - One of the tracks that simply keeps the album from it's full potential. And Kon Artis's verse is simply messed up, even for a person like me, who isn't easily offended (and trust me, It's Mission: Impossible to try and offend me). However Bizarre's hook is pretty funny for me and I still like repeating it in my head. Unfortunately, D12's most talented members are absent, which is one of the reason the song is pretty weak, given if they were on it, it might have been better. What a waste of a good Dre beat.

6. Ain't Nuttin But Music (All Members) - A very funny song that could've replaced Purple Pills as a single. It's essentially The Real Slim Shady Pt. 2 (Feat. D12). Kon Artis has a surprising but hilarious appearence on here. The instrumental is great on here as well. Eminem's verse had me laughing so hard on here as well. This is another great song to me as well.

7. American Psycho (Eminem, Bizarre & Kon Artis) - Dr. Dre comes by the studio to produce one of the best beats I've heard in a long time. This is another highlight off the album for me. Especially with the theme on here, this definitely fits Bizarre's flow on here. Eminem also manages to turn this dark snowstorm of a song into improv night at The Comedy Store. Kon Artis's verse gives me the creeps (in a good way) and doesn't mess around on this song. That's all to say here.

8. That's How (Skit) - The title pretty much explains itself. Intro to the next track which is pretty funny.

9. That's How (Everyone except Eminem) - This track show's how great D12 can be without Eminem. No offense, but to me, this album seems like another Eminem album with D12 as the guest of honor on here given he appears on almost all the songs on here. Nobody on here does a verse, rather than ad-libs ending with the phrase "That's How ..." This is a great song off the album as well.

10. Purple Pills (Everyone) - Boring. Next.

11. Fight Music (Everyone) - A song destined to pump you up during any fight. The music video is nice too, with it's surprise guest appearances, most notable, Will Smith since he does clean cut rap (which is still good). Bizarre's verse is pretty weak as well as everyone else's unfortunately (With the exception of Kon Artis) which means that only Eminem can save the song now. And He Does. You have to hear his verse for yourself, probably one of his best.

12. Instigator (Everyone except Eminem & Bizarre) - Rather than this being a D12 song, it's more like a Swift song featuring D12 (he handles the hook & 2/5 verses). Kon Artis verse is nice and gives Proof a funny intro into the song which is nice. The beat is nice as well and sounds like something that Dr. Dre could have produced. Too bad Eminem isn't on here, he would have pretty much made the album if he was on here, given it's already an excellent song. However, Bizarre wouldn't fit into a song like this AT ALL.

13. Pimp Like Me (Everyone) - Misogyny at it's finest. This is a pretty lengthy song for the album (5:57) but it's still a nice one but Bizarre's verse on here is pretty messed up. Eminem only handles the hook on here but Proof saves his song with his funny verse. That's all I can say for over here.

14. Blow My Buzz (Everyone) - This song is pretty nice, but These Drugs could replace this song ANY DAY. Each rapper drops a nice verse (most notably, Eminem's, but you saw that coming didn't you?) Funny thing is that the hook to this and the hook to Bust from Big Boi's Speakerboxxx sound EXACTLY the same to me. They're still great songs nonetheless. Good Song Overall.

15. Obie Trice (Skit) - The freestyle skit that brought Obie to fame.

16. Devil's Night (Everyone but Proof) - The title track does not disappoint at all. Each rapper drops a nice verse and Eminem starts the song of great for me and sets the mood, but the intro on here is way too long here and I wish it would hurry up. Bizarre's verse fits onto a song like this as well and is pretty funny, especially if you catch the Bow Wow reference on here. Great Song Overall.

17. Steve Berman (Skit) - Must I explain?

18. Revelation (Everyone) - The Pink Floyd sampling song is pretty nice on here and Bizarre drops another funny but messed up verse, Kon Artis describes his abusive family and Eminem, well you know that. Proof's verse really let's us hear him out for the first time, given he appears the least on the album out of everyone (9 times). The beat is nice and this is a great song of rebellion of anyone who hated their childhood experience at school. And just when you think the album has ended...

19. Girls (Eminem solo) - This hidden track pops up! I can't say anything about this song, other than it's a great diss and he's taking shots at Limp Bizkit and Everlast and DJ Lethal. This is probably one of Eminem's best diss songs. It almost sounds like Eminem drank a can of Penzoil while he was recording this.

The following are bonus tracks from the import edition..

1. Shit On You (Everyone) - This song isn't the best but it did pretty well for a single and I don't know why it didn't appear on the regular version of Devil's Night. Each rapper drops nice verses and I think this song is pretty messed up in a lot of ways (just in case the title didn't give it away for you yet)

2. Words Are Weapons (Eminem, Swift & Bizarre) - The best song from the bonus disk and I'll go as far to say that this is D12's best song. There. I didn't say it in caps either for the first time. That's how good it is. Each rapper's flow on here is great and everyone drops nice verses. This was originally on the 60 Minutes Of Funk Vol. 4 mixtape from Funkmaster Flex. Excellent song overall.

3. These Drugs (Everyone but Kon Artis & Kuniva) - This was the song that could have replaced Blow My Buzz and I still stick to that opinion. This is an excellent song for the type of song they were aiming at here. It's very psychedelic esque, and probably D12's 2nd best song. That came as a surprise to you I bet. D12's best 2 songs on one three-song disk. Who would've known. Now this is THE REAL END to the album.
The Final Word: Devil's Night is a phenomenal album (The import is even better) and any fan of rap would have the sense to buy this album and bump it forever and ever (that sounded very fairy taleish. And like I said, It's not only D12's best album, it's Eminem's best album as well. One of the best rap albums of the 21st century. That's all I can say here. Farewell.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Free Mixtape for Download: Greg Hein - Dreaming (The Mixtape)

  Today's new offering will be Dreaming, the Mixtape by Arlington's very own hip hop artist Greg Hein. 15 tracks of great music, with production by ProBeats, this one is one you'll be sure to enjoy. I will be posting a new album review tomorrow. Tracks to look out for are "Cypher (Skit)" & Hello World. Hope you enjoy this.

   Download: Greg Hein- Dreaming (The Mixtape)

Friday, July 29, 2011

From the Vault: Eminem - Baruch College Session (Download Link Included)

  Today's offering will be an extremely hard to come across 7 minute freestyle by Eminem performed on the Baruch College radio station in his "Slim Shady EP" days. You may recognize some of the rhymes on here from other freestyles but for the most part this is a collector's item right here many of you Eminem Stan's might want to download. Eminem freestyles over an array of hot beats on here, it's personally one of my favorites from him. Enjoy.

  Download: Eminem - Baruch College Session

Earl Sweatshirt - Earl (Review)

   A famous name that's been circulating through hip hop blogs across the nation (with the exception of 2DopeBoyz & NahRight) and several troubled teenager's iPods, is Thebe Kgositsile. Thebe? Doesn't ring a bell? Maybe because you probably better recognize him by his stage name Earl Sweatshirt. When I first heard of him months ago, I could only assume from what small information I had of him that he was part of the movement that is ruining rap today and the reason Nas said those 4 dreaded words. I decided to skip on him after listening to a small snippet of him and going "Ehh...".

    3 long months later...while shooting the stuff with my friend we started talking about rappers who suck, aka Wack Rappers, and the topic of the Illuminati comes up (Damn conspiracists..), and my friend sends me a link to a music video and warns me: "My brother's friend showed me this, it's real, and this guy is devil music right here." This would eventually become to the video that opened my eyes to Odd Future and had me falling for them. It was the music video to Earl, by Earl Sweatshirt.

     Now, when I first saw this video, I was shocked and keep in mind that your talking to a person that's seen all those stupid internet meme videos such as 2 Girls 1 Cup and BME Pain Olympics and laughed it off and moved on with life. But this video seemed so real, so raw, so vivid. Some of the best filmmaking I've seen in a while. This video however, upon the first time viewing it, and while under the impression that all of it was real, freaked me the hell out. And due to the fact that I was so focused on the content of the video rather than the man rapping in the background, my first impression of Earl was that I hated the kid. But, I kept watching the video over and over again, something was drawing me to it more and more, then I began actually listening to the lyrics. The kid was dope. He's the offspring of an African poet for crying out loud, how couldn't he be?
      After watching and appreciating the video at least 32321323 times, I figured it was time to look more into this guy, turns out, the poor kid has been missing for about a year now (Yes, I know all the rumors and where he is, but I'm not getting into that, I have a review to do). But he did leave one small thing for us to enjoy until he comes back.

       What's that? Why, yes that's correct little Jim, he left us an album! Now, me myself however, I don't consider it an album, it's more of an EP, because albums don't clock in at only 26 minutes. Eh, I'll let this one slide, he was only 16 when it dropped and it's his debut. And let me say...when he comes back, it's gonna be hard to top this. I'm ready to call this album the Illmatic of the 21st century.

        Thebe's album contains guest appearances and primary production from Odd Future, which one might call the "West-Coast Wu-Tang Clan". Tyler, the Creator, supposedly his stepbrother, produced most of the tracks on this album, with the exception of two, and you'll be able to tell which two, Tyler's style is much more distinctive than that of other producers, and is actually turning producing into the artform it used to be, until people started trashing hip-hop with their horned-up Fruity Loop's Vol. 9 Producers Edition XXL Beats.

        Earl was digitally released for free download on Odd Future's website, and was met with much critical acclaim from hip hop bloggers across the nation (However once again, not from 2DopeBoyz or NahRight). His distinctive natural flow and poetic style where were he drew most compliments and praise from, and praise he deserved! However, many viral videos and a drugged-up music video later...he disappeared from the music scene. Once again, not getting into that story.

        Let's get into this now, shall we?

        1. Thisniggaugly (Feat. Tyler, the Creator) - Nothing much to gleam about on this one, other than a shorter than short rap from Tyler. Earl isn't even present on this track for crying out loud. Typical rap album intro. Sigh.
        2. Earl - With that controversial music video, this is the song that he will most definitely be known for. For the first time on the album, we get to see what Earl is truly made of, and he's actually able to hold it together and give us a hot 2 verse over a dope Tyler beat. The production to this is truly amazing that I had the beginning bass pump looped over as a separate instrumental. Oh yeah, can't forget to mention that the line "...gobbles it, like fat, Black b****** & Catfish..." had me cracking up a bit. But seriously though, that video was crazy.

        3. Couch (Feat. Tyler, the Creator) - One of my favorites on this album, Tyler and Earl spit back and forth for 2 verses resulting in the murder of Earl by Tyler. Great production and wordflow on this track. This is usually the song people show their friends when they mention Earl to them and they go, "WHAAAAT?"

        4. Kill - Earl will not tolerate what Tyler did on the previous track and retaliates on this track. I never honestly dug this track...but still, it's a banging track, and a bit modest on the production. This had the potential to be a better track, but oh well, we can't get everything we want, right? Somewhere right now Miley Cyrus is crying her eyes out.

        5. Wakeupfaggot - Skit. But a funny one at that. A funny one.

        6. Luper - This is another favorite. This song has something that most rap songs lack nowadays. Heart. Earl raps about a certain girl he has a liking for...but just can't come to terms with it. The first lines of this song are bound to be an anthem for lazy teens across the world. Amazing what Earl can spit and get accomplished in just 1 second short of 2 minutes right?

         7. epaR (Feat. Vince Staples) - Yes, my friend, that is Rape spelled backwards. I think Redrum when I see that. The song has the sound of a club single (and the hook of one too may I add) but a minute into the song will remind you that this is far from your average radio raps. I gotta appreciate also as well that Earl gave props to Eminem in this song ("I'm zoning on Relapse, she's sliding in Blueprint").    Vince comes and goes on this song, nothing too memorable. But then again, compared to most new hip hop nowadays, he's pretty good on this.

         8. Moonlight (Feat. Hodgy Beats) - This is true poetry right here. The most beautiful rap song I've ever heard (Despite the rape references and "hocking loogies in a Bible" line). The introduction to this song is just killer and Earl raps at his finest (in a Screwed voice) that I've heard from him. Hodgy, another fellow member of Odd Future is great on here, and can keep up with Earl and keep the melodramatic mood on this song. As of right now, this song takes place for the most played song on my iTunes library (48 plays as of right now) and is my favorite Earl song. It's so good, that I re-watched Batman after listening to this.

          9. Pigions (Feat. Tyler, the Creator) - Couch (Version 2.0). Basically another EarlWolf cut, going back and forth with each other, which is something I've taken a great fondness and liking to. The little interlude in the middle was unnecessary however and was only included probably for the sole purpose of stretching out this track. Other than that, another solid track with great lyrics and production. Tyler doesn't kill Earl on this is you guys were wondering by the way...

          10. Stapleton - It's time to say goodbye to our friend Earl, it was fun having him around for the past 26 minutes, but all good things must come to an end. Earl drops a solid 3 verse which is actually the longest he's ever rapped consistently on a track. The production here once again, is great. But while this track is just great, it's overshadowed by the greatness in the 9 tracks that came before it and is easy to forget. What a great ending to a great album.

           The Final Word - For years, I've been asking record shop clerks for a rapper I might enjoy for my taste (which is primarily Eminem) and all they could come up with is D12, which is Eminem's posse. But I may have to stop asking that question, because it seems that I've found the long awaited answer to this question. This kid has a lot of potential, and will without a doubt change the game when he comes back from wherever he is. He has a flow and way with words that I've seen on nobody. Nobody. All fans of rap should download this and appreciate this for what it is. Great production, great lyrics, hell, I even enjoyed the skit on this! What more could you ask for? Yeah, I know, longer runtime, but other than that?!

            If you enjoyed this album, I recommend:
            Nas - Illmatic (Both albums were 10 tracks and relatively short, and established the style and flow of each artist solidly.)
            Tyler, the Creator - Bastard (Another great debut album from a member of the OFWGKTA with solid production which I will get to reviewing sometime in the near future...)